To Mall or not to Mall

Would you place a drive-thru at a mall even if traffic counts were low?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


New member
Dec 7, 2005
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I have a question that I'm hoping one of you nice folks would be able to answer. I am very close to opening my first coffee shop, an exclusive drive-thru.. I have a lease oportunity at one of the local malls. Here is the rub.. this particular mall is not the most popular and traffic is not excatly where we would like it to be... (about 18,000 cars per day along one side of it and 17,000 along another side of it... we would be on the road containing 18,000 per day). They are asking $1,800 per month for an entire lot and are willing to pay for all improvements to the property, with the exception of our building of course. In and out of this lot also is not the best but mall management has agreed to strategically placed signs for 6 months directing traffic to us.

Everything I have learned so far has told me that my traffic counts should be twice what we see here and that in/out access should be much better.. so my question is this.. are there any inherant advantages to being located at a mall? I might point out also that there are no other gourmet coffee shops within several miles of this location... (I know... but it's true).

A local grocery store chain has put up a gas station/convenience store two lots down and are doing an amazing business... even though the mall and traffic counts are sooo low.

Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,


New member
Jan 6, 2006
Crestwood, KY
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Not to Mall...

This is my personal opinion about Coffee Shops in Malls:

1) Malls are expensive in both Rent and Operatiing expenses,

2) Most people go to do retail shopping - if you are selling coffee, this goes more in hand with grocery shopping, than retail.

3) Most coffee drinking times of the day do not coincide with Mall shopping which is late morning or afternoon.

4) You will find it hard to find a loyal base of evening coffee drinkers at a mall.

5) You will have high labor and overhead costs being located on mall property. You will have to sell a lot of coffee to make up for it!

6) Malls are nearly open all year round, which will affect your labor costs, which in turn will affect your sales.

7) If you have to pay into the mall's advertising and promotion costs, sometimes you will find that their advertising might not agree with what you have in mind.

There are probably dozens of opinions that will go either way. You mention $1800 a month fo the lot (that's quite a bit of coffee) Give careful thought to the location -- there are strip malls and street sites that might be a better choice with lower overhead and labor costs.

Hope this helps!

--david :D
La Vida Java Coffee Co.